Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag footage sinks ships with broadsides

Five minutes of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag gameplay, filmed at Gamescom last week, shows a chunk of the new naval warfare and the assault on an island fortress. Black Flag is shaping up to be a huge oceanic sandbox, so solid naval combat is going to be crucial to the game's success.

The attack opens on with a mortar barrage on Punta Guarico, a small fortress in the Caribbean. The mortar is a new weapon that looks like it's tricky to control, but it packs a real punch.

“There is a lot happening and it get can intense,” Black Flag game director Ashraf Ismail

says in the voiceover. “This is a naval sandbox, and in this case we chose to attack while there's a Brig [large battleship] nearby. This could have easily happened at night or during a hurricane storm with waterspouts and thirty-foot waves. There could have been a bigger military presence.”

After destroying the enemy ships and battering the fort's tower strongholds, assassin Edward Kenway takes a running dive off the side of the ship, swims to shore, and begins to parkour and stab his way through the defenses to get at the fort commander. The smooth transition from naval commander to free-running assassin is pretty impressive.

“The seamless concept was something we knew we needed to push because it brings the gameplay and immersion to a whole new level,” Ismail says.

Black Flag will be out on consoles on October 29 in North America and November 1 in Europe. Its PC release is slated for a few weeks afterwards.